Dad of Divas' Reviews: July 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Review - The Dragon of Fortune: An Epic Kingdom of Fantasy Adventure

The Dragon of Fortune: An Epic Kingdom of Fantasy Adventure



About the Book
I, Geronimo Stilton, traveled on the wings of the Dragon of Fortune back to the Kingdom of Fantasy! I was called there by my friend Blossom, Queen of the Fairies, who needed my help.

The enchanted Winged Ring had gone missing! This was terrible news. The ring allows its owner to travel between the Kingdom of Fantasy and the real world-which would be a dangerous power if it fell into evil hands. Could I find the ring before it was too late?



My Take on the Book
If you are a reader who likes fantasy, stories about good versus evil, and mystery, then I think you may find this chapter book a good read. The chapters are filled with details of the story, events, locations, the characters, and of course Geronimo Stilton's adventure as the tries to find the Winged Ring which was stolen from him.

There are detailed colorful drawings of the locations, characters with short biographies, maps of castles and kingdoms, mazes, and jokes. There are activities for the reader and the answers are at the end of the book.

The story takes Geronimo from his home to the Kingdom of Fantasy. He lost the precious magic ring that allows him to travel between his home and the home of the fairies.It is his responsibility to find it. His search takes him to various other kingdoms in which he meets characters who are helpful in his search and characters who want to destroy him so he cannot find the ring. 

Of course good triumphs over evil in the end and Geronimo becomes the hero as he returns the ring to its rightful owner. 

There is a lot of action and funny lines in this story like the other Geronimo Stilton stories.
  
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Game Review - ROBOT WARS Coding Board Game

ROBOT WARS Coding Board Game





About the Game
Players are being tested against their skills of instructing robots through the war, in an artificial war zone. First one to reach the middle grid of the board wins and will be selected as Commander of Robots. Select color of your choice for CELEB and shoot through enemies as you approach the winning grid. 

Shoot Cards will be distributed equally to all the players. First player starts the game by picking up the top card of Instructions deck and moves his robot according to the command on his Instruction card. If he gets to move to a new grid on the board using this card, he can collect the top card of Resources deck. Each player picks up an Instruction and moves to collect resources. When it is first players turn again he can choose between playing his resource and picking up a new instruction. As the game goes on, you will collect more resources and strategize your game better.

ROBOT WARS Coding Board Game


Skills covered:
  • Sequential Logic
  • Conditional Logic
  • If-Else Syntax
  • While Loop Syntax
  • For Loop Syntax
  • Functions
  • Bugs 
  • Robotic Movements
ROBOT WARS Coding Board Game

Features
  • Learn computer programming like never before! Beginner and Strategy levels to enhance progressive learning in kids
  • Fun filled educational game. Players get to shoot other players’ robots through the war. Commands for bots are written in Java, but readable as simple English
  • No prior coding skills are required for kids or parents to play the game. Contains miniature robot coding toys,.
  • The game is a highly interactive way to introduce coding to kids. It adds programming logic and syntax to kid’s skill set and makes them ready for future of work.
  • Specs: 2-4 Players, ages 7 years and up, 40 - 60 minutes. Strategize your cards smartly to eliminate the other Robots and reach the winning zone first!

My Take on the Game


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Book Review - Refugee




About the Book
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.




My Take on the Book
WOW, this is a great look at the world in which a refugee lives and the experiences that they have to go through in their plight to find asylum. The stories that are shared are powerful and what was interesting was that the stories that are shared have so many similar commonalities. The book is compelling and I found myself being drawn further into the book to see what would happen. I did not want to put the book down and neither will you! The book will also encourage further discussion for you and your kids!


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Book Review - Waylon! Even More Awesome

Waylon! Even More Awesome



About the Book
Waylon thinks most problems can be solved with science. But when it comes to having to share a dog with Baxter Boylen, science may not be very helpful.

Baxter is the closest thing to a juvenile delinquent Waylon has ever met. He's always getting called to Principal Rice's office, and now he's even having meetings with the chief of police. At least the two boys can visit their dog, Dumpster Eddy, while they're at the station. Eddy is behind bars in the Stray Animals' Lock-up.

When a new Animal Control officer takes over, it looks as though the dog's days are numbered. Waylon comes up with a science-y plan to save Eddy, but can he trust Baxter to help him carry it out?



 
My Take on the Book
Talk about a fun book with fun characters! I have met kids like Waylon before but this author really brings together a great story that shows how different people can work together toward a common goal. The book is fun, offers humor, adventure and a bit more too. The book keeps you questioning what will happen with Dumpster Eddy and whether Waylon and Baxter can actually come to terms and work together too. The story was a ton of fun that you and your kids will truly enjoy!


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Book Review - The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade



About the Book
In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids. Bullies will find your weakness and jump on it. Teachers will say you did something wrong when really didn't mean to do anything wrong. The kids who joke the loudest can drown out the quieter, nicer kids.
Maverick wants to change all that. One of the last things his father left him was a toy sheriff's badge, back when Maverick was little. Now he likes to carry it around to remind him of his dad - and also to remind him to make school a better place for everyone... even if that's a hard thing to do, especially when his own home life is falling apart.
THE SECRET SHERIFF OF SIXTH GRADE is a story about standing up for yourself - and being a hero at home and in the halls of your school.



My Take on the Book
Maverick Falconer is not your ordinary sixth grader. Maverick has a difficult home environment but he tries to make the best of it. His father was killed in Afghanistan and his mother has a drinking problem and has difficulty keeping a job. Maverick knows he is poor : no new sneakers, barely any food in the house to eat, and there is hardly money to pay the bills.

When you read this story ,you will see how incredible Maverick becomes as a young man in spite of his circumstances. He rises above them.

Maverick rights wrongs, he stands up for himself, and he is brave in the face of trouble. He makes friends of his enemies and even the assistant principal at school recognizes his leadership skills.

The reader is led through Maverick's ups and downs of his personal and school life in sixth grade. As you read the story, you might think of people you know who are like Maverick.

Jordan Sonnenblick will make you think about the meaning of the word "hero" in this book.


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Book Review - William's Winter Nap

William's Winter Nap



About the Book
Just when William is ready to fall asleep in his cozy cabin, there is a tap on his window. A chilly chipmunk asks to stay, and Will scooches over in bed. "There's room for two--I'm sure we'll fit." The chipmunk is just the first in a parade of mammals, each bigger than the last, until the bed is full. Then a note is slipped beneath the door: "Do you have room for just one more?" William tugs the door to see who's there . . . only to find a great big BEAR! Is there enough space to spare? Will the other animals be willing to share?

Kids will delight at each new guest's arrival and enjoy counting along as the animals keep scooching over to fit in William's bed. Linda Ashman's clever rhymes set up each page turn with suspense and humor, and the expressions on Chuck Groenink's characters are perfect. This is must reading for the dark time of year when everyone wants to hibernate!



My Take on the Book
This was a wonderful book that flows very smoothly with great rhymes, some suspense and even some humor too. The illustrations were so fun and they really draw you into the entire story. All of us have felt like we need a nap from time to time, and definitely for me in the winter when everything is grey, you feel like sleeping a lot and this story will really resonate!


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review - American Girl Like Sisters: Emma Moves In

American Girl Like Sisters: Emma Moves In



About the Book
Three girls. Two families. One incredible friendship pact.

Emma has always loved spending time with her cousins, twin sisters Natalia and Zoe. Even though Emma lives 3,000 miles away, when they're together, it's like no time has passed.

At a family reunion, the girls' parents have a big announcement: Emma's family is moving back to town--the three girls will finally live in the same place after all these years! Their parents are turning an old family home into a charming bed and breakfast. Natalia and Zoe are thrilled. Emma is looking forward to the move, but is secretly worried that her whole life is about to change in a big way.
And it is. But the changes about to happen are both more wonderful and more challenging than any of the girls are expecting!



My Take on the Book
A girl in about 4th grade with a reading level between 3-5th grade will enjoy this story . This chapter book is one of several by this author. They are wonderful books about friendship, relationships, problem solving, and the kinds of situations that often occur between friends and family members.
Clare Hutton in this story tells us about Emma who lives in Seattle with her mom and dad. Her dad is a chef. Their family lives in another town, Waverly which is by the ocean.

Emma loves spending time with her two cousins, Zoe and Natalie. Emma's mom and her sister decide to renovate their mother's house into a bed and breakfast, so Emma moves to Waverly.

The author begins to show the reader how Emma's plans for her and her cousins to do everything together begins to change. As school begins Emma must find her place and make friends which does not come easy. However Emma is clever and a good problem solver. She finds a way to be with her cousins and one of their friends who does not act friendly at the beginning of the school year but certainly begins to change. 

Clare Hutton has a good sense for the feelings and issues that girls this age encounter. I think your daughter will enjoy reading this chapter book.


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DVD Review - Teen Wolf Too


Teen Wolf Too



About the Movie
High School Was Easy, But College Is A Whole Different Animal!

Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) stars as Todd Howard, a Hamilton University freshman with a full athletic scholarship — only Todd has no idea why, since he's far more interested in veterinary medicine than sports. But his boxing coach, Bobby Finstock, is very familiar with the Howard family secret and he's hoping he can use it to his advantage. When the whole school — including Todd — finds out that he's a werewolf with superhuman abilities, Todd's popularity skyrockets and he becomes the big wolf on campus.

But is his fame a gift? Or a curse? And can he keep it from getting in the way of the relationships he has with his best friends and girlfriend? Perhaps a little guidance from his professor (Kim Darby, True Grit), who has a secret of her own, may help Todd learn the biggest lesson of all.

Bonus Features
  • Working With The Wolf – An Interview With Director Christopher Leitch
  • Otherworldly – An Interview With Co-star Kim Darby
  • A Man of Great ‘Stiles’ - An Interview With Co-star Stuart Fratkin
  • Nerdy Girl Saves the Day – An Interview With Co-star Estee Chandler
  • A Wolf In ‘80s Clothing – A Look At The Wardrobe Of Teen Wolf Too With Costume Designer Heidi Kaczenski
  • Still Gallery
My Take on the Movie
Another great movie to follow up from the first Teen Wolf. Although it is not the same characters the movie is still a ton of fun and the plot is fun too. My girls loved this movie as much as the first one and while they are not the same, they still are a ton of fun for the whole family. I have not seen Justin Bateman in a number of years and it was fun to go back in time a bit to watch this great family film again!


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DVD Review - Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf



About Teen Wolf
He Always Wanted To Be Special … But He Never Expected This!

Like all teenagers, Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox, the Back To The Future trilogy) is going through some … changes. But unlike the rest of the students at Beacontown High School, Scott's changes include long hair that covers his entire body, claw-like fingernails, fangs, a heightened sense of smell, superhuman strength and the extraordinary ability to … play basketball? And that's just the beginning.

Naturally, these uncanny new features turn this lovable loser into the most popular kid in school. But by embracing his newly minted popularity, has the Teen Wolf lost sight of what it truly means to be Scott Howard?

Bonus Features

  • New 2017 High-Definition Film Transfer Taken From The Interpositive
  • Never. Say. Die. The Story Of Teen Wolf – A Comprehensive Documentary About The Making And Legacy Of The Film, Including Brand-new Interviews With The Cast And Crew (143 minutes)
  • ​Original Theatrical Trailer
  • ​Still Gallery



My Take on the Movie
This is a great movie that I remember when it first came out in the theater. My daughters had not seen this yet, but this new collectors edition was great and it allowed me to introduce them to the great acting of Michael J. Fox.

This was a fun movie that allows you to see Michael J. Fox in his prime and also lets you see how much fun he can have with his character as well.

If you have never seen this movie before you need to pick it up today as it is just plain fun!

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Review - Challenging Incredible Dot to Dot

Challenging Incredible Dot to Dot



About the Book
Find amazing dot-to-dot puzzles with everything from 100 to 1,000 dots.

The intensity builds as puzzles start easy but get harder as you go along. Puzzles will challenge kids (answers are in the back) and get them racing to join those dots. Color them in too! Each of the books in the Challenging...Books series is jam-packed with puzzles that are entertaining and absorbing. Plus, there are time challenges with every puzzle, so kids can try to beat the rest of the best. The only question is are they up to the test? Encourage them to say yes, and tell them to get ready for hours of stimulating fun! Includes perforated pages.



My Take on the Book
This is a great book that really allows you to have a ton of fun while being challenged on each page. We loved that you could time yourself and see if you could beat your time the next time. Once you are done with the picture the images are ones that you could easily color in too!

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review - I Survived the American Revolution, 1776

I Survived the American Revolution, 1776



About the Book
The battlefield was soaked in blood. Screams of injured soldiers rang through the air. Eleven-year-old Nathaniel Knox knelt behind a rock, his gun clutched in his shaking hands. Nate had been heading to New York City to find his father. But now he was trapped in a terrible gunfight between American and British troops.

This Revolutionary War had started as a thrilling fight for freedom. The 13 American colonies were breaking apart from England, away from King George III. The colonies would band together to become a brand-new country: The United States of America!

But King George was like a snake with America gripped in his fangs - and he didn't want to let go. So now it was war - brutal, bloody war. And America was being crushed by the mighty British army. Thousands of American troops were either dead or dying in filthy British prison ships. General George Washington's army was in tatters.

All Nate wanted was to find his father...and to get out of here alive.



My Take on the Book
This book may have been written for readers in grades 3-5, but as an adult reading this book, I certainly not only learned a lot but enjoyed it very much. I has actually motivated me to look into some of the books on the author has listed in the back of this book.

This story is about a young boy named Nathaniel Fox. He is eleven years old and lives with his abusive uncle. Nathaniel runs away after a terrible beating and luckily finds a friend and some American soldiers who allow him to stay in the camp and help.

This story is about survival, bravery, battle details, and the amazing spirit of the American soldiers.There are illustrations to assist the reader in understanding the weapons and clothing the soldiers on both sides of the war wore.

This particular book focused on the Battle of Brooklyn which most people probably know very little about, however it was an important battle. You will read the details of the battle thanks to Lauren Tarshis' careful research.

This is an excellent story. I encourage you to find not only this book but also locate the other I SURVIVE books for your young person to read. I believe your child will enjoy reading this chapter book and learning along the way. Make sure you read the sections at the end which delve into more details about the Revolutionary War.
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Book Review - Magic Lights: Illuminated Magic: Wonderful Coloring & Crafts with Transparencies

Illuminated Magic: Wonderful Coloring & Crafts with Transparencies



About the Book
Add a beautiful glow everywhere you go with this unique coloring book from the Magic Lights series!

Twelve transparencies let you take your colored pens, pencils, or markers and create a stunning gift with visual impact. Color, decorate, and share magical, handcrafted gifts. Set the scene with these non-seasonal floral patterns, motifs, and designs to color. Includes brilliant crafts for candles, window decorations, and cards.



My Take on the Book
A great book that is filled with a ton of amazing pictures but also possibilities for creating cool gifts for others. We loved all of the very cool designs and you can really easily make some gifts with this very nice book. The book is also very portable as well which makes it even more simple to create gifts for friends and family!

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Book Review - Magic Lights: Candlelight Magic: Holiday Coloring & Crafts with Transparencies

Magic Lights: Candlelight Magic: Holiday Coloring & Crafts with Transparencies




About the Book
Add a festive glow everywhere you go with this unique coloring book from the Magic Lights series!

Twelve transparencies let you take your colored pens, pencils, or markers and create a stunning gift with visual impact. Color, decorate, and share beautiful, handcrafted gifts that show true holiday spirit. You can make everything from holiday cards and Christmas decorations to candle labels, and more. Each creation is an expression of your love and caring this holiday season.



My Take on the Book
This is a great book that has amazing images but also a number of transparencies that you can use to  make some amazing gifts as well. My daughter was very excited to work with these to make some gifts for people and this book makes it super simple to do just that!

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Book Review - Geronimo Stilton Spacemice: We'll Bite Your Tail, Geronimo!


Geronimo Stilton Spacemice: We'll Bite Your Tail, Geronimo!



About the Book
Professor Greenfur, the onboard scientist on spaceship MouseStar 1, has changed color from green to... orange! What's going on? To find out, the spacemice travel to his home planet of Photosyntheson. There, they learn that all of Professor Greenfur's relatives are being threatened by the nibblix, tiny aliens with very sharp teeth! Can the spacemice help in time?


My Take on the Book
Here is another exciting chapter book about Geronimo Stilton and his friends and family.The book is written on a fourth grade reading level with an interest level for second through fourth graders. It is filled with mystery, fun, puns, and lots of action. The chapters are short.

In this book the Spacemice must travel to the planet of Photoyntheson. Professor Greenfur lives there . There is something threatening his planet and when he arrives the mystery and adventure begins. Geronimo finds the source of the threat and from then on the characters try to find a solution that will help everyone on the planet.

There is a lesson to be learned in this story. It is important for all of us to protect, respect and love nature because a few individuals could change the environment. As you read this story this lesson will become quite evident.


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Book Review - Fact Attack: The Byte-Sized World of Technology

Fact Attack: The Byte-Sized World of Technology




About the Book
Did you know more people have cell phones than toothbrushes? That Google answers about a billion questions a day? Or that Alexander Graham Bell wanted the standard telephone greeting to be "Ahoy"?

Discover these incredible facts and more in the next Fact Attack book, all about inventions and technology. Fact Attack is an exploration of the most amazing and awe-inspiring facts about technology and inventions throughout history. Heavily designed with different approaches on each page, the style is dynamic, fresh, and in your face. Whether you flip to a page to learn a digestible fact or read it from beginning to end, this is a book a reader will return to time and again.



My Take on the Book
There are 372 facts about technology and inventions in this book. I found it so interesting to read. The illustrations show the objects that the facts are written about. You may learn a date the invention was created or a timeline for a technology's past to present. Some of the facts I found interesting were: An astronaut's suit weighs 280 pounds on Earth and it is weightless in space. Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen in 1767 and called his invention of soda or sparkling water his "happiest discovery". Computer printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids costing almost $5000 per gallon. You will truly enjoy reading these amazing facts and sharing them with others.

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Book Review - The Percy Jackson Coloring Book

The Percy Jackson Coloring Book



About the Book
Demigods, brandish your pencils!

Over the past decade, millions of young readers, parents, and teachers have come to adore Rick Riordan's classic series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which made ancient Greek mythology contemporary, relevant, and entertaining as it turned kids on to reading. Now fans can literally color Percy's world with the amusing portraits, dramatic scenes, and intricate designs on every spread of this large format paperback. This book is a great way to introduce young children to the series, to allow older fans to reminisce, and to augment classroom units on Greek mythology.



My Take on the Book
Rick Riordan is a storyteller. He has written a best selling series of books for middle age children. The books include stories about fantasy, Olympians, Greek and Roman mythology , as well as Egyptian mythology. There is drama , action, and some real and fantasy creatures.

Keith Robinson has taken the stories and illustrated this coloring book with pen and ink drawings that can be colored in by the reader/artist. There are monsters, demigods, and gods. There is a map of a fictional place, the actual characters from the stories, and buildings too.

If you enjoy coloring and fantasy, this may be a book you will enjoy coloring. Lots of small details to color and present your own detailed colorful expression.


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